Kraken gets $3M from NRC-IRAP for ThunderFish development

Will be larger with increased depth rating, larger payload capacity and longer mission endurance.

September 1, 2020   by PLANT STAFF

ThunderFish XL in subsea docking station.
Photo: Kraken

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Kraken Robotics Inc. is getting almost $3 million in non-refundable funding for the development of its ThunderFish XL autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The contribution is coming from the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). Kraken, a manufacturer of marine technology based in St. John’s, NL, will receive the money over 26-months.

The project advances development of the ThunderFish Alpha AUV. The XL version will be larger and with an increased depth rating, have a larger payload capacity and longer mission endurance.

Capabilities include: transitioning from high-speed survey mode to “zero” speed hovering mode; through-the sensor acoustic, laser and optical target detection, image recognition and inspection; and using onboard sensors to improve vehicle navigational accuracy.


ThunderFish XL will be depth rated to 6,000 metres and carry an array of sensors and custom payload modules that will be integrated with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms onboard the vehicle.

The modular design will allow for rapid sensor reconfiguration and battery replacement. Kraken will also develop a conceptual design for a robust and autonomous multi-modal docking solution allowing TFXL to function as a seabed resident AUV that can run a wide variety of missions from its underwater docking station.

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